What Can a Rugby Team Teach Us About Humility?

All Blacks*This post was authored by Hogan’s Michael Tapia, Dena Rhodes, and Ryne Sherman.

The New Zealand All Blacks is one of the most successful sports organizations of all time. For over a century they dominated the world stage as a premier member of the international rugby union, competing with such foes as the South Africa Springboks and Australia Wallabies. In 2015, the All Blacks became the repeat champions of the quadrennial Rugby World Cup (2011 and 2015). Even more astonishing, the success of New Zealand Rugby persists across squads. New Zealand’s women’s (Black Ferns) and men’s (All Blacks) Rugby Sevens teams both won the 2018 Rugby Sevens World Cup held in San Francisco.

The achievements of the All Blacks have yielded global recognition and a collection of media projects exploring the methods behind their success. This includes the documentary All or Nothing and James Kerr’s book, Legacy. Kerr spent time with the team and learned about their unique culture, which he believed was essential to their dominance. According to Kerr, the key to this team’s culture is dedication to character, and “character begins with Humility.”

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A Q&A on Humility

Humility FAQ Social GraphicWe continue to emphasize the importance of humility and effective leadership at Hogan in 2018, as evidenced by this article in The Wall Street Journal last week. Because this has been such a hot topic for us, it has also generated a lot of questions from those within our network and beyond. To address these inquiries, the Hogan Research Division developed the following FAQ:

Q: Is humility comprised of low Recognition, Bold, Leisurely, Power, and Hedonism?

A: Although humility has moderate, negative relationships to Recognition, Bold, Leisurely, Power, and Hedonism (respectively), it is not a composite of these five scales. The humility scale consists of 20 items, 15 of which are brand new. The remaining 5 items come from Bold (Overconfidence subscale) and Recognition (Aversions subscale).

Q: Are humble leaders weak leaders? Will they be pushovers in the workplace?

A: Humble leadership should not be confused with weak leadership. For instance, humble leaders may listen to others and consider alternate viewpoints, resulting in a more beneficial decision. Humble leaders can (and should) demonstrate confidence, show assertiveness, and set forth a clear vision for the organization.

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Don’t Try to Be the “Fun Boss” — and Other Lessons in Ethical Leadership

KDNEI*This article was written by Kimberly Nei and Darin Nei, and was originally published by Harvard Business Review on September 10, 2018.

Just becoming a leader is enough to exacerbate some people’s unethical tendencies. But power does not corrupt everyone. Our research suggests that key personality characteristics predict unethical leadership behavior.

We collected personality data and supervisor ratings of ethical behavior (e.g., integrity, accountability) on 3,500 leaders across 30 organizations we had worked with. The organizations included in our study were largely multinational, represented several industries, and varied in size from medium to large. We combined data across these 30 independent studies to examine the relationship between personality and ethical leadership across a range of different settings and situations. We found that characteristics related to certain traits have stronger relationships with unethical behavior.

So, what should today’s leaders do to build trust with their teams and the public? Here are a few tips, based on our findings:

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IAssessment to Host Event on Safety Featuring Ryan Ross and Zsolt Feher


Every year, accidents at work cause unnecessary human tragedies and have serious financial consequences for companies. For decades, organizations have been investing, with good results, in three of the pillars of safety: laws, regulations and procedures; equipment, and training. However, these accidents still happen.

Why is that? What more can companies do to determine and minimize the possibility of these accidents? The answer is the fourth pillar: personality.

Regardless of the industry in which you work – factories, mining, oil, gas, transportation, telecommunications, systems, or banking – there are several security risks that you should consider within your organization, from the simplest drops to security breaches, problems with energy sources, or the hauling of goods.

On October 25 in Madrid, Hogan’s Ryan Ross, Zsolt Feher, and IAssessment Managing Director Juan Antonio Calles will be presenting on the topic of safety to help the audience gain useful and reliable knowledge on how determine safety-related behaviors within organizations.

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PCL to Host Dysfunctional Leadership Conference on November 14 in London

Untitled-1*This post was authored by Gillian Hyde, Director at Psychological Consultancy Ltd.

Destructive leadership can take many forms, from the specific counterproductive tendencies associated with an individual’s dark side profile to a simple failure to take on the responsibilities of a leader.

Register for the Dysfunctional Leadership Conference to hear these themes explored by experts in assessment, psychology and executive coaching.  


Leadership effectiveness is often seen as an elusive, undefinable quality – something only a few will ever achieve. Dysfunctional leadership, on the other hand, is pervasive and a routine part of many people’s everyday working lives.

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Robert Hogan and Ryne Sherman to Speak in Mexico City on October 16

HRToolsHRTools, Hogan’s premier distributor in Mexico, is hosting a breakfast event on October 16 in Mexico City featuring Dr. Robert Hogan and Dr. Ryne Sherman as speakers.

Dr. Hogan’s presentation will cover the topic of humility and effective leadership. When organizations search for new leaders, they consciously or unconsciously look for candidates with charisma. However, a robust new line of research on leadership shows that charisma degrades leadership and often creates long-term chaos and ruin within organizations. In contrast with charismatic leaders, humble leaders admit their mistakes, listen to feedback, and solicit input from knowledgeable subordinates, and this creates an environment of continuous improvement.

Here is a brief preview of the presentation from Dr. Hogan:

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WEBINAR: Leaders Are People, Too (*GULP*)

Untitled-1*Hogan Senior Strategist, Michael Sanger, facilitated a webinar hosted by Workforce on Tuesday, September 18. This post offers you a summary of the talk and the presentation in its entirety. 

Personality determines the way we lead. The way we lead determines our teams’ performance. And a successful organization is a collection of high performing teams that act in concert. Seems simple enough. So what’s the problem? In a word…humans.

Effective leaders, just like other working adults, are a bunch of grown-up children, only one or two DNA percentage points apart from Chimpanzees. So what differentiates these hominids from the rest of the pack? How are they able to navigate our complex matrices more adeptly than the rest, whilst consistently delivering results? Believe it or not, the prerequisites for advancement in a hierarchy haven’t changed all that much over the last million years (give or take a couple of hundred thousand).

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Relevant Management Consulting Partners with ICF Germany for Inaugural German Prism Award

Untitled-1Hogan distributor, RELEVANT Management Consulting, has partnered with the International Coach Federation Germany chapter to present the inaugural German Prism Award, awarded to companies making a difference in the coaching community through professionalism, quality, and data.

The selection process and criteria were modeled after ICF’s International Prism Award, which has been granted annually since 2005 to companies that stand out through the establishment of a coaching culture with extraordinary results in difficult change processes. Past winners of this prestigious award include Coca Cola, SAP, Airbus, and several other prominent companies.

“Partnering with the ICF to present the first German Prism Award was a perfect opportunity for us,” says RELEVANT owner, Dr. René Kusch. “At RELEVANT, we are fully committed to advancing the coaching profession, and this award is symbolic of that commitment.”

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Hogan Personality Inventory Receives Stellar Review from The British Psychological Society

BPS logoThis press release was originally published on Business Wire on Monday, September 17.

The British Psychological Society (BPS) has completed a test review of the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), Hogan Assessments’ flagship assessment that describes normal personality. The 15-month process concluded with the HPI receiving perfect four-star ratings in the Documentation, Reports and User Experience categories.

“The Hogan Personality Inventory is a well-established personality measure, being one of the most well-known personality assessments globally,” according to the official report issued by the BPS. “There is a large amount of information provided by the developer/publisher, which is comprehensive and identifies the majority of the necessary information needed for a test user to evaluate the utility of the inventory.”

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The Value of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

RTMBTIThe Personality Brokers, Merve Emre’s interesting new book, is a kind of feminist treatise focusing on the lives and work of the two amazing women, Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers, who developed and promoted the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is the best known and most widely used personality “instrument” in the world. I never met the authors, but I knew pretty much everyone responsible for the development of the MBTI in the 1960s—both the critics and the proponents. It might be informative to reflect briefly on the pros and cons of this remarkably successful assessment product. In my view, there are five aspects of the MBTI that are positive and worth remembering.

First, the original goal of the MBTI is both worthy and honorable: It was intended to be used to improve the lives of working people by providing a rational basis for aligning people with jobs. It was designed to be used as a placement tool, a convenient and easy-to-use method for sorting employees in ways that maximized their happiness and the productivity of organizations. Who would not be in favor of maximizing individual happiness and corporate productivity?

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